Kaito KA404 Emergency Hand Crank Dynamo 5-LED Flashlight with AM/FM radio Review

Could  a product have a longer name?  Probably not.  This is one popular little gizmo, likely because of it’s small size, low price and promise of feature-rich technological wizardry!

Price: $13-16

Weight: 6oz

We’ll break our experience down by feature.

Radio:  It is very difficult to tune, has no external antenna and at its best we experienced in-and-out reception that was difficult to listen to, but for some stations adequate.  We tuned to an FM radio station located several miles from my house, got on the highway and drove!  The reception range for this radio station was 18 miles for the Katio KA404.  We kept driving, our car’s radio range was 84 miles  in this case.

Emergency Siren:  For us, 93 decibels at 6 inches away from device, at full charge…  Annoying, but not loud.

Phone Charger:  Doesn’t accomadate our iphone.  Doesn’t come with any charger cords or adapters whatsoever.

5-LED Flashlight: Set on ‘Lo’ (1 LED) this is not a functional flashlight.  Set on ‘Hi’ (5 LED) the light output is reasonable if it is cranked to full charge.  It won’t blow anyone away and we wouldn’t describe it as bright but it will likely get most nighttime chores down outdoors or in a powerless house.  A 5 minute crank lasted 22 minutes on ‘Hi”, the last 4-5 minutes were particularly dim. A 1 minute crank produced reasonable light for about 4-5 minutes on “Hi”.

Dynamo Hand Crank: Works and ours seemed fairly sturdy for a $14 plastic made in China product.  Longevity seems unlikely, but who are we to say, we’ve only had it a couple weeks. But like all wind up devices, if your crank goes bad. .

This handcrank multifunction tool is certainly ambitious but it’s difficult to tune, spotty, low ranged radio reception, laughable siren function, uncertain durability, lack of water resistance, and unusable phone charger make this an unwise choice for any legitimate outdoor survival kit.  As a backup light around the house it seems feasible.

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